basement ceiling sheet rock over gas/water lines

I am in the process of finishing my basement, and because the joists are pretty low, I was thinking about sheetrocking the ceiling instead of installing a dropped ceiling. However, would it be a code violation to sheetrock over the gas and water lines? We can put in access panels for the valves, and we can make diagrams of all the pipes etc for future repairs. But I worry that some future home owner might try to hang up a plant or something and drill into one of the gas or water lines (the lines are all copper and run directly below and perpendicular to the joists) I was also thinking that perhaps there was a way to "protect" the lines by installing a steel plate or something under them before putting up the sheet rock?
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I just went through some of the same decisions and decided to put up furring strips and 1' tile. We don't have immediate access to the pipes, but we can access valves. If a water pipe should leak, it will be a simple matter to replace the tiles. Most importantly, we only lost 1.5 inch of headroom.
It was slightly more expensive than drywall, even taking into account the rental of a drywall lift, but worth it in my opinion, mainly because I'm tired of drywalling. Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
Jim in PA
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Of course you must NOT seal off (hide) plumbing/gas valves and electrical junction boxes. They must be accessible, perhaps with a removable panel. --Phil
Jim in PA wrote:

--
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
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I don't see a problem, just mark out where your pipes are so you don't drill in them. Another issue is you may want to insulate the cold water pipe because it could sweat in the summertime dripping on the sheetrock.
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Mikepier wrote:

You don't see a problem, but the building inspector will. Water OK, Gas, NO Check your local codes.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/




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I also am finishing a basement. We decided to use sheetrock for the ceiling to achieve the finished look. We rerouted some of the plumbing (it was on the bottom edges of joists) as a result.
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To answer your question. You add furring strips to the joists and yes you can buy 3-4" metal plates to "protect" the pipes. You can not cover an electrical junction box nor would I cover any cut off valves.
Your plan to map the lines is a good one.
The poster who suggested pipe insulation for the cold water line also made a good point.
Colbyt
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